Collapse of £45m deal for NHS masks

The Guardian has revealed that millions of medical masks purchased by the British government for £45m are missing after a major PPE deal collapsed amid accusations of fraud.

The Department of Health and Social Care paid its supplier Purple Surgical upfront for 5m FFP3 respirator masks, which were supposed to have been flown into Birmingham international airport by June. But Purple Surgical, a Hertfordshire-based company that has signed deals worth almost £250m with the DHSC since the pandemic began, has been unable to supply the masks.

Purple Surgical has filed papers in California alleging fraud by its own supplier, a company in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).

Full story in The Guardian, 3 November 2020

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